Back in March, we asked the question “Are corporations that use Wikipedia giving back?” The answer was kind of, sort of, with one key exception, noting, “Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google all contributed around $50,000 by matching employee gifts. Amazon, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found on that list.”
Today, however, the online retail giant is looking to address that apparent oversight, announcing a $1 million donation to the Wikimedia Endowment, the fund behind Wikipedia. As it notes, the online encyclopedia has been hugely important to Alexa’s success, serving as the foundation for much of the assistant’s knowledge.
“Alexa leverages hundreds of sources to answer questions, including Wikipedia,” Amazon said in a statement offered to TechCrunch. “The Alexa team shares a similar vision with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation: To make it easier to share knowledge globally.”
Including Wikipedia as one of “hundreds of sources” seems to be downplaying the importance of the site to Alexa and many of its competitors, but a donation from Amazon’s deep coffers is an important gestures for the non-profit.
Amazon’s also hoping Alexa users will pitch in as well, by way of the new “Alexa donate to Wikipedia” skill.